Solar Thermal

Solar Water Heating systems are a mature renewable energy technology which have been used in countries for many years. Solar thermal heating systems are designed to provide 70% - 80% of hot water load on an annual basis. Solar hot water panels absorb the suns heat and transfers that heat to a hot water storage tank, reducing the dependence on oil and gas consumption. With an expected life span of 25 years, solar water heating systems are not only smart for the environment, they are also a smart investment. There are two main types of solar thermal systems:

Solar Thermal Information

Flat Plate Collector

Flat plate collectors consist of:

  • Dark flat-plate absorber of solar energy
  • A transparent cover that allows solar energy to pass through but reduces heat losses
  • Heat-transport fluid (antifreeze or water) flowing through tubes to remove heat from the absorber
  • Heat insulating backing

The absorber consists of a thin absorber sheet (aluminium, steel or copper, to which a black or selective coating is applied) backed by a grid or coil of fluid tubing placed in an insulated casing with a glass or polycarbonate cover. Fluid is circulated through the tubing to transfer heat from the absorber to an insulated water tank

Evacuated Tube Collector

Most vacuum tube collectors use heat pipes for their core instead of passing liquid directly through them. Evacuated heat pipe tubes are composed of multiple evacuated tubes each containing an absorber plate fused to a heat pipe. The heat from the hot end of the heat pipes is transferred to the transfer fluid (usually anti-freeze mix) of a domestic hot water system. The vacuum that surrounds the outside of the tube greatly reduces convection and conduction heat loss to the outside, therefore achieving greater efficiency than flat-plate collectors, especially in colder conditions.